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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my betta as a baby and raised him into maturity (he now builds bubble nests) and recently, for the past week or so he's been shedding what I assumed to be his slime coat. It's been excessive shedding to the point it'll get caught on the plant décor and he'll turn around and eat it. Now he's started to get this fine black dots on his fins. He's still swimming around normal, eating normal, flaring, and everything is normal except these dots, his color has seemed to fade as well due to the dots. The dots are also on a silicone decoration I have in the tank. It looks as if it could almost be carbon from the filter but I'm not sure. I will attach pictures of what I assumed to be the slime coat and also the dots on his body.

I'm am going to do a water change, so I'm not sure of the exact pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc. I use the same water each time and the levels have always been fine. He is in a 10 gallon tank, heated to 81 degrees with an HOB filter, I changed his water once a week, sometimes twice if he poops a lot. I only use prime during his water changes and do anywhere from 50-80% each time.

Does anyone know what these black dots are? Should I be worried? Why is his slime coat shedding so much, and how do I stop it?
 

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Do me a favor and shine a flashlight on him, see if the black dots turn gold/rust colored, if so it may be velvet
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought the same thing, but luckily they remain black and he has no other symptoms that indicate velvet, I'm just concerned it's something serious.
 

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It's hard to determine from the pics you supplied. But many bettas do develop little rows of spots on their fins as part of their natural coloration. Do they look like they are spaced evenly....like a pattern or are they random? Several of mine have little rows of evenly spaced spots between the rays on their dorsal and caudal fins. As far as the slime coat shedding, I have never seen my bettas shed their slime coat, or had any issues with it, so maybe someone with more experience on that would be better able to give insight into that.
 

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Slime coat shedding in itself isn't too dangerous but still not desirable. I'd keep the water as clean as possible and hope for the best
 

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It's Black Ich. Very uncommon in freshwater fish however it is possible and I've seen other cases as well. There is no cure for it, it is a virus much like Lymphocystis. The only thing you can do is keep his water clean and keep him on a good diet. His fins may start to fall off but it shouldn't be drastic; the whole dorsal shouldn't fall off but it might look tattered. So basically keep doing what you've been doing and don't worry so much, it's not fatal generally as long as you keep his water clean by doing your weekly changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's hard to determine from the pics you supplied. But many bettas do develop little rows of spots on their fins as part of their natural coloration. Do they look like they are spaced evenly....like a pattern or are they random? Several of mine have little rows of evenly spaced spots between the rays on their dorsal and caudal fins. As far as the slime coat shedding, I have never seen my bettas shed their slime coat, or had any issues with it, so maybe someone with more experience on that would be better able to give insight into that.

They are just randomly scattered, no pattern
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's Black Ich. Very uncommon in freshwater fish however it is possible and I've seen other cases as well. There is no cure for it, it is a virus much like Lymphocystis. The only thing you can do is keep his water clean and keep him on a good diet. His fins may start to fall off but it shouldn't be drastic; the whole dorsal shouldn't fall off but it might look tattered. So basically keep doing what you've been doing and don't worry so much, it's not fatal generally as long as you keep his water clean by doing your weekly changes.

Oh no :( There's no chance he will rid of it? I mean I keep the water as clean as possible so I'm not sure how he got it. Thanks so much you put me a bit at ease, I just wish I knew how he got it
 

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He will get rid of it on his own, just like any virus; given good conditions he'll fight it off just fine but it may take around two to three months for it to fully go away. If you've got other fish, keep their equipment separate or disinfect hoses/nets/buckets when used from his tank to others if you have them. It's very catchy and it could have just been in the water system much like all the other diseases are; it's opportunistic so maybe there was a time he got stressed and it just attacked him is all.

Don't freak out and do water changes daily, just keep with the once a week or twice a week if it seems to get too dirty.

It's funny, he's marbled a bit since he was a baby!! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, I can take a deep breath now, thank you so much. I'm actually moving in 2 weeks so I hope that doesn't stress him too much but I will of course make sure to test the new tap water before adding it and acclimate him, right now I still do half my tap/half spring water

and yeah his color has changed a lot, it's actually faded since this incident has started but he's turned into a purple/blue/pink instead of red and blue when we first saw him :D he's grown so much too
 

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:-D

Yeah, just, if you can get a small insulated box, bag him up and place him in that box. It won't only keep him warm but the darkness will help keep him less stressed as well. And then when you set up the tank at the new place, keep his lights off when you introduce him, throw a towel/blanket over the tank for that day and night and then after that you can take it off or put it on nightly to keep him calmer :)
 

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Bleach doesn't kill organic life forms so no. It's not something you can just kill off like regular ich, regular ich is a parasite but this is a virus. Viruses can be treated but only with a vaccine (like the Flu) but in small animals, it's nearly impossible to vaccinate or find someone who is qualified that will do it.

The best thing you can do is just to keep him healthy otherwise. Diseases don't exactly cling to decor, even if you did sanitize everything the majority of it is in your water supply regardless of where you get your water from. So it's a moot point to disinfect things other than disinfecting them if you want to use it for another fish/tank. It's not worth killing your cycle over it as the fish will fight the virus off on its own if his water remains healthy and he's fed a quality diet :)
 

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It's Black Ich. Very uncommon in freshwater fish however it is possible and I've seen other cases as well. There is no cure for it, it is a virus much like Lymphocystis. The only thing you can do is keep his water clean and keep him on a good diet. His fins may start to fall off but it shouldn't be drastic; the whole dorsal shouldn't fall off but it might look tattered. So basically keep doing what you've been doing and don't worry so much, it's not fatal generally as long as you keep his water clean by doing your weekly changes.


oh wow! I have a feeling that Perch had this too. she had black spots on her face and gills. though she died from a lump on her chin that clogged her gills. =(
 

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oh wow! I have a feeling that Perch had this too. she had black spots on her face and gills. though she died from a lump on her chin that clogged her gills. =(
It's possible but generally it attacks fins first and moves from fin to fin.
 

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It's possible but generally it attacks fins first and moves from fin to fin.
Ahhhhh Hmmm then if it gets on fins then maybe it wasn't black Ick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Bleach doesn't kill organic life forms so no. It's not something you can just kill off like regular ich, regular ich is a parasite but this is a virus. Viruses can be treated but only with a vaccine (like the Flu) but in small animals, it's nearly impossible to vaccinate or find someone who is qualified that will do it.

The best thing you can do is just to keep him healthy otherwise. Diseases don't exactly cling to decor, even if you did sanitize everything the majority of it is in your water supply regardless of where you get your water from. So it's a moot point to disinfect things other than disinfecting them if you want to use it for another fish/tank. It's not worth killing your cycle over it as the fish will fight the virus off on its own if his water remains healthy and he's fed a quality diet :)

Oh ok, well I will just be patient then and continue to keep the water clean. What do you think I can do about him eating his slime coat? because I can see the little black dots in his slime coat as he sheds it off and sometimes he gets to it before I can scoop it out. So it's like he's eating the virus that's in his slime coat :/
 

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It's alright, the Ich will go away even if he's eating it, it's not really going to effect anything as the virus goes away when it goes away. It won't prolong anything if he does that :) Are you using any salt or meds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, no I don't use anything besides prime. I remember you mentioned a while ago that stuff causes their slime coats to shed so I haven't been using it.
 
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